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  • MSC Qualifications and Requirements

    MSC Missionaries are expected to comply with the following requirements:


    1. Christian Experience

      MSC Missionaries are to demonstrate evidence of a true, personal conversion experience and a growing commitment to Christ and His church, resulting in a strong moral life and a vital Christian witness.
    2. Theological Integrity

      MSC Missionaries are to reflect theological convictions and doctrinal beliefs consistent with the North American Mission Board and be willing to carry out their ministry in a manner that is in accordance with and not contrary to the most current "Baptist Faith and Message" as adopted by the SBC.
    3. Physical and Emotional Health

      MSC Missionaries are to be healthy emotionally as a positive reflection of one called to missionary service. They are to have sufficient physical health to execute successfully assigned ministry responsibilities.
    4. Church Membership

      MSC Missionaries must be active members, in good standing, of a cooperating Southern Baptist church.
    5. Missionary Service

      MSC Missionaries must reflect a call of God to missionary service. MSC missionary service is for adults age 18 or older and not a full-time college student. Full-time seminary students may be accepted as long as the ministry assignment meets NAMB approval. MSC missionaries must serve a minimum average of at least 20 hours per week on a consistent, ongoing basis in an approved mission assignment of four months or longer.
    6. Divorce

      The North American Mission Board desires that missions personnel receiving NAMB support who are appointed or approved, or those endorsed as Chaplains, set the finest possible example in terms of marriage and family in keeping with biblical teachings. Therefore, divorced people will rarely, and only under unusual circumstances, be appointed, approved or endorsed for mission service.
      • The biblical rationale for divorce is recognized as:
        • A. For cause of sexual unfaithfulness. (Matthew 5:32; 19:1-12)
        • B. For cause of desertion on the part of the unbelieving spouse. (I Corinthians 7:10-17)
      • Pastoral Role
        • No one will be considered for appointment, approval, or endorsement for service in a pastoral role, unless the divorce is biblically-based and the person has not remarried. In the same manner, the wife cannot be divorced and remarried.
      • Other Roles
        • Divorced people may be considered for missions personnel appointment, approval or endorsement to other types of service if the divorce is determined to be biblically based.
    7. Other Requirements

      All other criteria pertaining to additional qualifications (i.e. education, experience, special skills, etc.) are established by the requesting Southern Baptist ministry and approved by the state or Canadian convention partner that approves the MSC Position Request (SOR).


    MSC Missionaries are expected to conduct themselves in an exemplary Christian manner that reflects positively on Christ, His church, and the mission of the North American Mission Board.

    1. Alcohol and Substance Abuse

      MSC Missionaries are expected to abstain from the use of alcohol and illegal drugs. They will neither advocate nor condone the use of alcohol as a beverage or the illegal use of drugs, marijuana or the misuse of other controlled substances. At least 12 months abstinence is required for candidates. When prior history of use exists, MSC applicants may be asked to sign the following covenant:

      "I am under the conviction that the consumption of alcohol as a beverage is a detriment to my Christian life and witness. Furthermore, I am resolved that as a part of my Christian walk, I will not participate in the teaching, promotion, sale distribution, or use of any alcohol as a beverage. Furthermore, I understand that, in addition to Holy Scripture, I will be under the authority, policies, and guidelines of the North American Mission Board, the state/Canadian convention to which I am assigned, and to my local supervisor. I agree to abstain from the use of alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, and any other behavior that would hinder my ministry during my term of service. I understand that the use of these substances, or involvement in questionable conduct, will be cause for dismissal as a MSC missionary."
    2. Sexual Behavior and Orientation

      MSC Missionaries who practice or condone sexual immorality or deviance, including homosexuality, will not be approved and will be subject to dismissal.
    3. Other Issues

      There may be other issues that are critical to mission service, either generally or in a specific geographic or cultural context. Should MSC missionaries assume or advocate that embarrasses or threatens the effective ministry of NAMB or its ministry partners, appropriate measures will be taken that may result in dismissal.

      Distinctive characteristics--though MSC has many dimensions, the following characteristics distinguish it from short-term volunteer mission programs.
      1. MSC Missionaries serve full-time (an average of 20 hours per week) in their mission assignments.
      2. These missionaries serve for a minimum of four months and may extend their ministry service indefinitely.
      3. They provide their own financial support or are supported by friends, family and related churches.
      4. MSC Tentmakers use specific vocational training to support their ministry through marketplace employment, serving in a bivocational capacity.
      General guidelines are followed.
      1. All MSC applicants are screened and assigned by the MSC office of the North American Mission Board
      2. Financial support funds should be sent through an appropriate non-profit Southern Baptist organization (i.e., local church, association, state convention, etc.). Funds can also be sent through NAMB, but funds should be designated for the support of the specific MSC missionary
      3. Applicants must complete application forms. These are then sent to the MSC leader in their state/Canadian convention for forwarding on the North American Mission Board.